Intel is simplifying the branding for its low-end laptop CPUs, with the Pentium and Celeron brands retiring early next year.
So what will replace these old brands, which have been around since the 1990s (1993 in the case of Pentium)? The new family of Intel’s baseline CPUs will be called Intel Processor.
That means wallet-friendly chips will be an Intel processor and the mainstream offering will remain Intel Core, with Intel vPro as the pro-focused CPUs, as it is now. The Intel Evo certification also remains a guideline for quality in the laptop world.
The Pentium and Celeron brands will be dumped from the first quarter of 2023, Intel says, so they’ll be hanging around for a while after launching next year.
As Intel puts it, the move is about streamlining the branded offering for the PC and making it easier for customers to recognize the value proposition of these CPUs at a glance.
Analysis: Land of Confusion
Our instinctive response is that we are not thrilled with the new brand name. We get that it’s meant to simplify things, like in what on Earth do Pentium or Celeron actually mean – especially to the less tech-savvy – and what’s the difference between them? Fair enough to narrow these brands down to one basic offering, but Intel processor? We have a problem with that.
Namely (ahem) that in itself it brings some confusion.
“I’m going to buy a Windows 11 laptop.”
“Cool. What processor does it have?”
“An Intel processor.”
“An Intel processor, I just said.”
“Yeah, not AMD, got it – but what Intel processor?”
“A, uh, Intel processor. That one. You know the cheap one that used to be called Celeron.”
Also, using the term “processor” as part of an official brand family almost feels like an attempt by Intel to absorb the term. Okay, so maybe we’re overreacting, but hey, these are our first thoughts on this. The name just doesn’t sit well with us, if only because it simplifies on the one hand, but on the other it introduces possible new sources of confusion. And it feels weird. What’s next: the Nvidia graphics card family of budget GPUs?
Exactly what kind of silicon we will see under the Intel Processor brand, well, we have no idea yet. But Intel says it won’t change anything about its current products or future silicon roadmap, and obviously these will still be the low-end offerings.
Note that, as mentioned, this rebrand is only for laptop chips, but other than that, only two desktop Celerons (and no Pentiums) have been released lately; so they are still thin on the ground away from the mobile space.